concerto for alto saxophone and orchestra(2009, rev. 2014)
|Commission||Commissioned by and Dedicated to Chien-Kwan Lin and The College of Music of Mahidol University|
|Premiere||March 28, 2014; Boston, MA; Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP); Gil Rose, conductor; Chien-Kwan Lin, saxophone|
"Xiaoxiang" was a Finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in Music
|Instrumentation||2.2.2.bcl.2.-4.2.2.btbn.1-3perc(I. crot[2 octaves], bng, 2sus cym [high and medium], thin beaters, double bass bow (acro); II. mar, crot[2 octaves], cong, cym, finger cym, tam-t, double bass bow (arco); III. b.d, tempbl, vib, marac, double bass bow (arco)-hp-str(10.10.8.6.4)|
|Rental||Performance materials are available for order:|
Xiaoxiang refers to the region in Hunan Province, China where the rivers Xiao and Xiang intersect. A tragic event took place in that region during the Chinese Cultural Revolution: a woman’s husband was killed by a local official. Without the means to seek justice, she decided to take revenge on the official by wailing like a ghost in the forest behind the official’s residence every evening. Months later, both the official and herself went insane.
I composed Memories of Xiaoxiang (for alto saxophone and electronics, 2003) to commemorate this story through the use of electronically transformed sounds. The concerto re-synthesizes the electronic sounds through the means of an orchestra.
Instead of displaying technical virtuosity, the soloist in this piece portrays the protagonist’s inability to articulate or utter. The soloist’s music is marked by silences. In that sense, the work may be perceived as an anti-concerto.
Xiaoxiang was commissioned by and dedicated to Chien-Kwan Lin who gave its premiere at the World Saxophone Congress XV in Bangkok with the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Allan McMurray. The revised version was premiered by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), conducted by Gil Rose with Chien-Kwan Lin as the soloist, in Jordan Hall, Boston on March 28, 2014.
--- Lei Liang